Corporate change management is the process a company goes through when reorganizing, consolidating or making alterations to current operations. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, once wrote that change is the only constant. In business, change is not always a bad thing. Embracing it can help business owners, board members, directors, and executive managers that a close look at their companies and determine the outcome — whether positive or negative — of change. While corporate change management can certainly be an arduous and time consuming task, a few basic steps can help ensure the process goes smoothly, with little disruption to current operations.
Managing change effectively often includes forming a change management team. The team will be responsible for developing a sense of urgency for change within the company, creating a vision for that change, and communicating the vision to the rest of the company. Managing change also requires removing obstacles, increasing motivation through short-term goals, and maintaining the changed environment.
A sense of urgency can help a company’s management team set the tone for the corporate change management process. While moving too quickly can result in missing crucial elements, allowing employees to languish when completing change activities can result in companies losing significant benefits from the change. Business owners can create a sense of urgency by focusing on action rather than conducting needless meetings to discuss the process.
A corporate change management team is often a group of individuals from various departments. Forming a diverse team allows the company to receive feedback from different employees who will often have a perspective based on their own experience and technical skills. Organizations may consider hiring an outside change manager to work solely on the change process. While expensive, it can be beneficial to have a third party’s opinion on the overall process, as well as those opinions of several employees.
Creating a vision in a company often comes from the business owner or other executive managers. These individuals will often guide and direct the organization’s major activities in the economic market. The next step in corporate change management, communicating the vision, is important because a company management team that cannot transfer its vision for corporate change may find the process sluggish and may experience more resistance to change from employees.
Obstacles can be anything internal or external that limits or prohibits the company from achieving change. Company management will need consistently review the business environment for any of these obstacles, so they can be removed in a timely and efficient manner. Attempting to remove them prior to the change process can create a better transition process.
Short-term change management goals can help companies focus on wins rather than the time spent changing business operations. These goals also allow companies to alter goals without devoting too much time or capital to the change management processes. This also allows the company to implement a control process to ensure changes are long-lasting and effective, adding more value to the corporation.